Monday, May 12, 2014

Better Than Perfect by Kristina Mathews, Virtual Book Tour with Interview & ♥GIVEAWAY♥ (Contemporary Romance)

Author: Kristina Mathews
Title: Better Than Perfect (More Than a Game #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
The woman he left behind and the son he never knew are tougher opponents than any he’s met on the field.

Pitcher Johnny “The Monk” Scottsdale has won awards, been named an All-star and has a perfect game to his credit. Known for his legendary control both on and off the field, his pristine public image makes him the ideal person to work with youth players in a preseason minicamp. Except the camp is run by the one woman he can’t forget…the woman who made him a “monk.”

Alice Harrison’s three strikes include an unexpected pregnancy, a marriage of convenience and young widowhood. She once traded her dreams so Johnny could have a chance at making it to the Majors. Johnny comes back into her life just as she’s ready to resign as foundation director and pursue her own dreams of finally earning her teaching credential. Her plans may go on hold, though, depending on the reaction when she confesses she may have kept a major league secret from Johnny and her son.

With the minutes ticking by until Johnny will leave for spring training, they’ll need to let go of the past and work together in order to win the game of love.

CONTENT WARNING: Some strong language, consummated love scenes

Kristina, thank you so much for taking the time to chat a little about your new book, Better Than Perfect!

• Your short biography mentions that you are an educator. Did you always know that's the career path you would choose?
o I wanted to be a baseball player when I was nine. Or an astronaut, mother, or a teacher. Since I only played one year of Little League, and I have a fear of heights, teaching seemed to be a better fit. I quit teaching full time when I became a mother for the second time.
• It's pretty clear that you are a baseball fan! When did you first discover your love of the game?
o I was one of the first girls to be allowed to play Little League. I still remember my first practice, all the boys told me I should be a cheerleader. The boy who teased me the most was my best friend. During practice one day, he was playing first base and when I got a hit, he tried to block the base. So I punched him in the stomach. The boys didn’t tease me after that.
o I fell in love with watching the game when I was a newlywed 21 years ago. We couldn’t get cable where we lived so we listened to a lot of baseball on the radio. I loved the storytelling that went on between pitches.
• Do you think all of your books will have a sports theme, or would you like to try your hand at a different area of the "romance arena" (for example, paranormal, historical, etc.)?
o I have two more books with a baseball theme I’m working on right now. I love baseball, and there are enough different personalities on a team that I can hopefully keep the series going for some time.
o I also have a series I started featuring whitewater raft guides. It’s not quite a spectator sport, but they get great bodies carved by the river.
• Was a single person or event your inspiration for writing Better Than Perfect?
o I can’t pinpoint a particular event, but there seem to be a lot of scandals involving athletes that hit the news. My kids played baseball, and I wanted to write a hero who was heroic off the field as well.
• Did you encounter any unexpected difficulties or problems while writing Better Than Perfect?
o Just the usual rejections. Feedback that caused me to rewrite it and lose my original intent. But then I got a critique that encouraged me to be true to my original vision of the book.
• Do you have a "behind the scenes" trivia fact about Better Than Perfect that you can share with us?
o The name for my perfect hero came from a childhood nickname of my husband’s. When he was on a family road trip, his older cousin teased him, telling him he wasn’t a Mathews. His real name was “Johnny Scottsdale.” It made him cry and his cousin still calls him that. Only now I’ll ask for royalties.
• And finally, what do you hope to impart to those reading Better Than Perfect?
o I hope they enjoy reading about a hero who is a little different than the stereotypical “player.” I hope they put the book down feeling like the ending was the right one, the twists were surprising, and they look forward to more in the series.

Thank you again for taking the time to tell us about yourself and your book! I think it's safe to say that we all look forward to reading it!

“Yeah, the kid’s kind of growing on me.” Johnny sounded surprised. But pleased. “I thought it would be hard to be around him. Since he’s…Mel’s. But, he’s such a great kid.”

The lump in her throat grew. She should tell him. Now. Before she lost her nerve.

He stepped toward her. “You have mascara, here.”

He reached out and wiped the smudge under her left eye. Her lashes automatically fluttered closed at his touch. A sigh escaped her lips, an instant before he captured her mouth with his.

He pulled her closer. Closer. Kissing her like they’d been apart for merely a two-week road trip, not fourteen years. His hands wove through her hair. Moved down her back. She leaned against him. She could feel him, his need pressing against her belly. Her insides dissolved. Longing filled her. Powerful. Uncontrolled.

“Ali…” His breath was ragged, heavy with desire. “Oh, Ali.”

She was about to surrender completely, when she heard the toilet flush upstairs.

Zach.

“Johnny. Wait.” She pushed him away. Smoothed her blouse. Her hair. “Zach’s upstairs. He could come down any minute.”

“Right. Zach.” Johnny stepped back and her heart gave a small whimper. “I should go.”

“Johnny, please… Stay.” They needed to talk. She needed to tell him the truth. Or what could be the truth about Zach.

“I really need to go.” His eyes rested on the formal family portrait. He didn’t need to tell her any more. He wasn’t ready for a family.

Kristina Mathews doesn't remember a time when she didn't have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn't until 2010 that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing romance novels.

While she resigned from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she's remained an educator in some form. As a volunteer, Parent Club member or para educator, she finds the most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster confidence and a lifelong love of books.

Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of twenty years, two sons and a black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors and serve as a “Ball Dudette” for the San Francisco Giants.
Kristina will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC plus a digital copy of the book to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour!

8 comments :

  1. This sounds like a touching story. I really loved the excerpt.

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    1. I'm glad you liked the excerpt. I hope you get a chance to read the rest.

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  2. Replies
    1. A pleasure! I enjoyed learning about you and your book, and I love the set-up of how Johnny and Alice reconnect in the synopsis. Looks like a REALLY good book!

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    2. Thanks. I hope you enjoy the rest of the book, too.

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  3. Sounds like a great read - something I'd enjoy!
    rushtond123@hotmail.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. I hope you get a chance to read it. Thanks for stopping by.

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